Reports are swirling that Valve might be getting back into the hardware game, and this time it's targeting the burgeoning PC portable gaming system market. Offering an experience akin to the Nintendo Switch, but with the Steam library as its backbone, and the potential to stream from a nearby gaming PC, Valve's reported SteamPal design would incorporate an AMD APU, Steam controller-style touchpads, various other controller inputs, and the ability to connect out to a much bigger display.
Thanks to the combined processing and graphical power of AMD's APUs, portable PC gaming rigs have become all the rage in recent months. From the Aya Neo, to the Retroid Pocket 2, there's plenty of portable PC gaming power to be had in a compact form factor, and now Valve is set to throw its hat in the ring with the currently codenamed SteamPal.
Valve's reportedly been working on this for a while now, and will use its pedigree of developing game controllers, streaming hardware, and its ill-fated Linux gaming initiative, to create something pretty darn powerful in a handheld device. It will reportedly feature USB-C charging, and the option to output to a big external display, gamepad buttons, analog sticks, and touchpads, and it may even have a D-Pad, according to ArsTechnica.
It's allegedly still in the prototyping phase, so details are subject to change and nothing has been nailed down just yet, but there are enough comments in the Steam DB code that we can be pretty sure this is something that's in the works. Gabe Newell has previously stated that Valve was working on something in the "console" space, and suggested we'd learn more by the end of the year.
What would you like to see out of a Steam-powered, Switch-like games console?